Chapter 31365144

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Chapter NumberI
Chapter Title
Chapter Url
Full Date1898-03-30
Page Number4
Word Count1560
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleQueanbeyan Age (NSW : 1867 - 1904)
Trove TitleLove's Conquest
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LOYE'S CONQUEST. OurArrTa I. ' Go it, yellow cap I Again--again. No, no-they've gob the ball. :Stop I Yah he'll be run out I' The scene was a level stretch in the midst of the Oautlehurst mendows-the-ncrsion, a match between the South and the West Hnts cricketing teams ; and the game was so even that now, as the end approaohed, the spectat~or were stirred to an unusual pilch of exci?ement. The ifternoon was drawing to a close, and the South Hants teanm had only two more wickets to fall. They hid hitherto seemed rather the wee.ler side, and the supporters of the West Hants eleven had been exulting I in the prosp' ct of victory for their men; but now, almost at the end of the second innings

of the other side, a stranger who Iaed rome forward to fill the place of an absentee was making some splendid hits, and getting so many runs that the chances seemed in favor of the Southern team. In the firat innings the stranger had in no way distinguished himself as a batsman, and his billiant play, on going in the second time, was as unexpected as it was welcome to the supporters of the local eleven. Wild cries and exhortations proceedes, from the by standers at every critical moment, and each successful stroke was greeted with shouts of applauso. One voice especially was to he heard above all others, and this voice it was- that had yelled out the adjuration to "yellow cap." The tones were harsh an I strident, and they proceed, d from an old man of decidedly unpreposse5sing appearance who sat with two companions on a bench under ot'e of the sptearling beech trees-a group some wh.,t ap rt'from the rest of the spectators. His cluthes were good ttub sotr.ewhat loose, and, antd, though the white hat which he wore jammed on to the back of his head wias quite new, it iltogethe' fail,.d to impart an air of respectability because it coutl not hide a thick or -p of long and bristly hair which fell over the collar of his lenst drab-coloured coat His features were coarse and bloated, his hteard was unkempt and grizzled, and his light prontinent eyes glared and flashed with all the ferocity of a wild beast's, as, with absolute indifference to public opinion, he roared out his approbation or disapproval of the various turns of the game. By his side, and also watching the play, but with a look of supercilious indifference thatb was evidently an habitual expression, sat a man of about five-.nd-thirty, evidently the old man's son, for the likeness between them was unmistakable. The younger man was smaller made and dressed with more pretension to fashion and smartness, but lhe was evrn more repulsive-looking, for a dis agreeas.le sneer never heft his lips, and the natural plainness of his features had not yet the redeeming characteristics of age. The other mnember of this family p',rty I was a well-dressed young lady ; but in her r case there was very little resemblance to indicate relationship, for she had a charming s face of the moa refined type, and there was e an air of distinction about it that mande it p hard to believo she was in any way co nected o with the disreputable-looking old reprobate

who was shouting and yelling like a maniac at her side. 'Papa dear,' she remonstrated anxiously, " I am afraid this excitement is not good for you I wish you would not exert yourself so much i' She might hcwever as well have addressed herself to the wind. As she spoke, the yellow-capped batsman made a splendid hit, and the ball seemed likely to escape the fielders and reach the boundi ry, ' Bravo, bravo !' roared out the old man. ' Oh, hang it-th,, ball is stopped. Back back. Oh, confound that blue-and-white capred monkey -he's done it I What a fool's trick- yah !' The snarl with which he ended was indes. cribable. The b:all had been checked in its course by a fielder, who instanatly returned it; and, Ihe other batsman, a p'oor player, having started to run the undefended wicket of the cham' er had fallen. The stranger had been run out ; and amid a storm of applause lie walked off to the pavilion. 'Who is the fellow?' inquired the old -nan who had backed him up so vehemently, turning to his son and gradually regaining some degree of composure as he ascertained that the sc: ru had been made up to within two runs of the enemy's. ' Tresilian, who is he 7 Do you know him ?' ' I can't be quite shaw,'drawled the young man, putting up his eye-glass to survey the retiring hero. 'I--ah-rather fancy the beggar must be a friend of younr Throg. morton's-come down for the family's dance. Saw him for a moment at the meet yester day. ' Esmonde' I think his name is Yes -that's the f llab !' ' Emnonde I' ejaculated the old man. ' I if he is. a s,,n of Patrick Eaniondi, whom I used to know in the old days ? By gove, I should not wonder if he were. Now I see him nearer, there is something in the way the fellow holds himself that reminds me of the brick of old Pat. It must be forty years at least since I saw Eamonde pull himself up like that, bub I could almost believe that it was only yesterday, and thfat it was the man hinme'f. I must find out who he is. Come along, Addie ; I'll see if I can't do you a gord turn ;' and, with a smile that made his natural hideousness more repulsive than ever, the old man took his daughter's arm, and hobbled across the

green in the direction of the cricketers. ' You are going to the Throgmortons' to night, aren't you ?' he said to the girl, in ex planation of his last remark. ' Well, here is a partner that you will do well to make sure of; and, if le is the man I mean, you I will be lucky to secure him for another sort of partnership. His father married one of the richest heiresses in England, and I know there :l only one child of th, marriage. He must come in for about two millions of Smoney, besides Sir Patrick's estates and title; consequently he is a catch worth trying for; so mind what you are about, and don't throw away your chances.' A look of pain and distress came over the girl's face as she listened to this exordium, and her eyes were clouded with an expression of trouble and annoyance that was evidently only too habitual, hut she compressed her lips and said nothing. At length they reached the spot where the hero of the moment was standing. He was the eantre of an animated group of cricketers, who were all balking at once in cinmmonda. tion of his play, and lie was pulling on hin ' blazer,' with a laugh at tha success that he said he owed mote to good luck than skill, when he becatue aware of the approach of a decrepit-looking old man, leaning on the arm of a graceful young woman, and tottering forward with the evidet int ention of accost. ing him. 'You did very well, sir,' said the new comer brusquely, sesoon ,s he was near enough and had breath to sp, ak ; it is a prety neat I score. Pity you woere so unluckily run ont. f But you have saved thb honor of the day for us. I'm told your name is Esmonde. Any relation of Sir Patrick Eamnonde of Moreton Manor, may 1 ask ?' ' I am his son,' replied the young mn?nn with some rset evo of mianner. He regarded his interrogator with evilent surprise. o 'I thought so ; you are exactly like whit e he was as a young man, atd I could have e sworn you were his son f nom thue resemlblance. [ used to know him well when I was in the Guards. We were both young blades then, and we losi t aoght of each other since. But you m:y hove heard him mention my o name-Lord Castlehu st l~ 'I do not remomber.' The young man P still seemed som-whiat. reserved ; but after a momnent's hesitation, so slight as to be scarcely 2 perceptible, lie added, with the grace and courteousy of a thoroughly wo!lbrod man, . 'I have not hbeard my father tutauion it, but l0

I know yout name quite well. My father often speaks of his experiences in the Army. I am in hes old regimeut.' 'Are you indeed? -Well, sir, I'm very glad to make your acquaintance ' said Lord Caitlehurst, shaking his hand with great cordiality. 'You must find your way up to the Park-very glad to se, you at any time. Let me make you acquainted with my daughter Adela, Mr-no- what is it ?-O'p tain Esmonde. You aRe staying at Throg mortor.s', are you not? Then you will meet Adela at their ' hop' to-night.. Isn'l it to night ytu are going there, Adela ? [To BE CONTINUED.]